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Lifelongdagger (London)

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Is It Just Me? Free First Chapter
Is It Just Me? Free First Chapter

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 3 Feb 2014
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Brilliant book by the queen of comedy! Absolutely hillarious. Higherly reccomended and arguably the best autobiography ever. Absolute brilliance. Epic.

The Chase
The Chase
Price: 1.49

5.0 out of 5 stars awesome, 27 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Chase (App)
Thought it was a really good game. Shouldn't have made this app any better. Unbeleivable HD game for an absolute bargain

Despicable Me: Minion Rush
Despicable Me: Minion Rush
Price: 0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 29 July 2013
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This review is from: Despicable Me: Minion Rush (App)
This is one of the best games ever, you have to get past all of this enemies. This game has the minions up and running. I hope you enjoy the game and I hope I have persuaded you to get this application. Cheers!

My Mum is a Loser (Barry Loser)
My Mum is a Loser (Barry Loser)
Price: 0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars My mum is a loser, 26 May 2013
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This is a great book and it might be about 25 pages long but it is still a brilliant book. Anyone my age (10) would love these kind of books. The characters in it are Mum, Barry (Main character,) and bunny.

The Crafty Art of Playmaking
The Crafty Art of Playmaking
by Alan Ayckbourn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

3.0 out of 5 stars Two books in one . . ., 3 Oct 2012
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This book is basically two books in one.

The first half of the book is about writing plays and the second half is about directing plays. The whole is written in an easy going, humourous style, making the whole thing a pleasure to read. I sense, though, the second half of the book, though entertaining and interesting, will hold value but to a small minority of readers.

If you are looking for a book on playwriting, be warned, therefore, the relevant part of this book is less than a hundred pages long.

Though a very enjoyable ninety-six pages it is.


5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, stunningly original book by a very talented author, 3 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Fireproof (Kindle Edition)
Gerard Brennan is one of those names in the circles I have come to know that oozes quality. Having read his WEE ROCKETS a short while back I was keen to have a look at his next outing - FIREPROOF - as quick as I could.

I was not disappointed.

Mmm . . . 'equal parts crime fiction, dark urban fantasy, and black comedy' - well there's a thing, eh. And I'd have to say it's a pretty accurate description.
FIREPROOF begins with Mike, a former Belfast bad boy, in Hell, being swallowed by his room-mate - a demon of horrific proportions, and somewhat unpleasant odours. Mike is no ordinary denzien of Hell, however. He has . . . powers. A bargain is struck twixt Mike and Lucifer, and Mike returns to life charged with spreading the word of Satansim, as only he can.

Let me say this first. I did not know what to expect from this book. I suppose I expected it to be similar to Wee Rockets, set as it is in Belfast, written by Gerard Brennan, noted for his Crime Fiction. But FIREPROOF is like nothing I've ever read before. Sure, it has it's crime-fiction elements. A vicious torturing gang, revenge killings, bank jobs, and numerous odious characters. But it is also a story of redemption, of hope, of the nature of religion, and of the spirit of man. And any story that includes Cerberus the three-headed dog of Greek mythology, a foul-mouthed imp, and a clairvoyant tramp called Cadbury, has my vote.

FIREPROOF is, like WEE ROCKETS, set in modern day Belfast. Brennan writes Belfast like his heart beats and bleeds for the place in equal measure. FIREPROOF is as much a social statement as anything else; a chilling indictment of the modern day world we live in - a tale of the lost and the dispossessed, the broken and the weary.

But like I said, it is also surreal and hilarious. Amongst the hilarity, however, and the darkness, there is a gentleness that shines through in Brennan's writing. Every character has feelings. Every character is vulnerable - even the imp. The central character, Mike, is brilliantly written, and the way he changes throughout the book, the way his vulnerability is exposed, is so subtle as to be almost imperceptible - until the end.

Just little touches, you know.And little touches make a great writer.

And through it all, beneath the surface, and above it, there is the constant dialogue regarding the very nature of belief itself.

FIREPROOF has many levels. It will make you laugh, it will make you shudder, and it will make you think.

A brilliant, stunningly original, book by a very talented author.

Top stuff, sir.

Bang Bang, You're Dead (Best of British)
Bang Bang, You're Dead (Best of British)
Price: 1.54

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Brit Grit, 25 Sep 2012
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Bang, Bang, You're Dead is the story of Sam - a twenty something fresh out of prison. Life has moved on whilst he's been inside. As it does. But some things stay the same. The pain of his brother's death. It runs deep. And someone knows the answers. Sam's mates, Weasel and Jonno, they don't know. Nor does his brother's wife, now moved on and living with someone else. It seems no-one has the answers Sam is searching for. But that doesn't stop him.

We follow Sam as he attempts to stay on the straight and narrow, whilst trying to discover who left his brother to die of an overdose. But to find the answers to these questions involves Sam mixing with some pretty unsavoury characters. The Nolan brothers, for a start, with their car crushing business. When I say 'car' crushing - to be honest, they're a little more flexible in their use of their machinery than just using it to crush cars. And then there is Vinnie, Weasal's dad - a gentleman and a gangster. And finally, Roberto Tardelli - a right nasty piece of work. Got the drug trade on the estate sewn up, he has. When Sam and Weasel and Jonno find themselves in the middle of this lot, decisions need to be made. Loyalties tested. But Sam has a score to settle, and not even the nastiest bastards in Hull are going to stop him from getting answers.

Bang, Bang, You're Dead is an absolutely cracking read. Quantrill tells the story through the eyes of Sam, with humility and compassion, yet pulls no punches. We feel Sam's loss, but Sam does not ask us to feel sorry for him. That is not an easy thing to pull off as a writer, and Quantrill does it expertly.

In his debut novella, it feels as if Quantrill has used the form to stretch out, to let loose. The dialogue still carries Quantrill's trademark terseness, but it is laden with anger and aggression. The violence in the book is necessary and brilliantly achieved. The plot is at one straightforward, yet emotionally intricate. And the pace of the whole thing is such that we tread the broken streets of Hull with Sam, by his side, looking for the answers that will bring peace to his troubled mind, the superb pacing of the whole leading to a climax and a twist I never saw coming from a million miles.

Bang, Bang, You're Dead is a brilliant example of top notch Brit Grit. Right up there with anything by Ray Banks or Allan Guthrie.

The Bitch
The Bitch

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant slice of modern day noir, 11 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Bitch (Kindle Edition)
As it says in the blurb, 'the bitch' is prison slang for an 'habitual' criminal. A criminal is deemed 'habitual' if he is incarcerated three times. Jake has been inside twice, so 'the bitch' hangs over him like a modern day Damoclean blade.

At the beginning of the book, we find Jake on the straight and narrow, working in a hair salon, married, his wife due to have a baby. All is rosy. Jake is determined to stay straight, for his wife and for his unborn child. He even has plans to open up his own salon.

But a phone call straight out the past turns Jake's whole world upside down, and he is thrust into a nightmare out of which there seems no escape, where every choice he makes leads him further into hell.

Never before have I read a book wherein the main character's spiralling into the darkness is so brilliantly chronicled. Just as we think Jake has conquered one obstacle, another one comes along to hit him like a truck. So close does the trinity of reader, author, and Jake become, at one point, I wasn't only thinking 'how is Jake going to get out of this', I was thinking 'how is Les Edgerton going to write himself out of this'. But a man of Edgerton's ability is a man to trust to the very end. You know he will write the truth, however much it hurts.

THE BITCH is an absolute belter of a read, right up there with the very best books I've read in the last ten years.


Just Like That
Just Like That
Price: 2.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing book, 31 July 2012
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This review is from: Just Like That (Kindle Edition)
JUST LIKE THAT begins with a lengthy foreward in which we learn the prison stories/road movie book we are about to read is '80-85%' true. With the brilliant edginess of Edgerton's writing - even in the foreward - I was left in no doubt I would be in for quite a ride. And not all of it comfortable.

JLT begins with the central character, Jake Mayes, in prison. Eating beans:

We were having beans this meal. That's not news - when we don't have beans, that's news. My main concern was not biting down on a rock. There are rocks all the time in the beans. If I looked around, I would see everyone else eating the same way I was. Carefully, so as not to bit down on a rock. As if I cared.

This single paragraph is a brilliant example of Les Edgerton's writing. The attention to detail - details that can only come from someone who knows - an atmosphere created through these details, and the character of Jake Mayes laid out before us like a corpse. The fact Edgerton does all this within the first paragraph indicates a writer that knows exactly what he is doing.

As we follow Jake through parole and onto the streets, we have a hope he will turn his life around, make something of it. But Jake, Jake is a man with a broken heart that is falling to pieces and hardening by the day. Next thing we know, Jake is phoning up his pal Bud, and a nihilistic road trip ensues in which the two men lurch from one town to the next, beer and women, and enough money for both, their only object. Eventually, Jake and Bud go their separate ways, and Jake ends up back in 'the joint'.

Indeed, JLT is much more of a prison story than a road trip.

But therein lies its strength.

The prison sections are astounding in their detail, their atmosphere. And, in places, truly frightening. There are two particular scenes in the book that I read with my eyes popping out.

As Jake settles down to a life of prison, writing years of his life off, preferring the company of the friends he is banged up with to a life on the outside, I became genuinely saddened, such is the power of Edgerton's prose. But through the cold-hearted violence and the bravado and the dripping tension of prison life, I kept remembering that broken heart. And through it all, it kept on beating.

They say there is nothing more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose. If you can imagine Mark Twain pumped with amphetamines, brandishing a straight razor and a big grin - you sort of get close to Les Edgerton.

JUST LIKE THAT is an astonishing book.

Mr. Glamour
Mr. Glamour
by Richard Godwin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

5.0 out of 5 stars A journey into the darkest reaches of the soul . . ., 26 July 2012
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This review is from: Mr. Glamour (Paperback)
Mr Glamour opens thus:

She has the eyes of a pit viper and the mouth of an angel.
She parts her lips slowly,
Holding you in her cold green camera shutter eyes
Whose irises are segmented like fine sections of fruit.
She runs a manicured hand across the hard surface
Of her Vivienne Westwood snakeskin bag.
Her flesh is soft,
It will split like a peach skin,
You know the fine spray that shoots out from the fruit
On a hot summer's day
As you run the paring knife along the contour
Of the carved peel,
All those fine hairs standing to attention,
And the others, their wounds cloaked in Versace,
They think they're playing the game.
Welcome to my world,
Only I know the rules.

These are the words of the killer. And that is chapter one.

Our heroes - if we can call them that - are Chief Inspector Jackson Flare and his partner, Inspector Mandy Steel. I say 'heroes' purely as they have the job of tracking down the killer, yet Godwin imbues Flame and Steel with such personal demons that, at times, they seem no better than the violent sadist they are attempting to catch. In some novels, there is a thin line between between the good and the bad - in MR GLAMOUR there is almost no line at all.

MR GLAMOUR unveils the world of a high fashion London set - ripping the veneer from the wealthy men and women whose main goal in life is to make the next financial killing or own the latest high status handbag. Even though the killings are graphic and they are sadistic, the victims are so odious, it is difficult, at times, to feel too much sympathy for them. When a writer of Godwin's quality writes, the reader is always challenged.

In MR GLAMOUR, the reader is challenged from the very first line.

As I said in the introduction, Richard Godwin is a writer that fears nothing. He writes - unashamed.
Never before have I read a book in which I, the reader, have been more uncomfortable, yet more compelled to read on. And that is due to the brilliance of Richard Godwin's writing. The horrifically seductive nature of Godwin's prose lures the reader into a world in which they become just as much a part of the killer's game as every other participant. We watch the killer at work, we turn the page, knowing what we are indulging in is beyond our better judgement, but we do it anyway.

The front cover of MR GLAMOUR depicts a frightened woman through a camera lense. For just shy of four hundred pages, it is the reader behind that camera, watching this London fashion set being torn apart by MR GLAMOUR . . . and we do nothing.

MR GLAMOUR is a book dripping with voyeurism and sadism - almost every character playing a part in such pursuits. No less, the reader himself.

Richard Godwin takes the reader on a journey into the reader's own darkest self. Stay with him, and the rewards are immense. A truly brilliant book.

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